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assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. what we think then transpired in benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. they came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are readily available in post-revolutionary libya, and they escalated into a much more violent episode. >> nbc is live for us in benghazi, libya. let's talk about the u.s. officials who are on the ground now. how many of the suspects are in custody and are there any leads on other suspects? >> alex, we had the chance yesterday to speak to libya's president, head of the general national council here. he told us he did agree with ambassador rice on one point. he believes this was a sinister, preplanned attack. this was the hallmark of foreign militants who had come into libya to exploit the security vacuum here and planned a very specific attack against the united
, white house press secretary for jay carney for the first time called the benghazi attack a terrorist attack. secretary of state hillary clinton, i want to play sound from her today, what she had to say about the after-action report on benghazi and libya. let's play that and talk about it. >> i am launching an accountability review board that will be chaired by ambassador thomas pickering. >> just by way of context, thomas pickering, a former u.n. ambassador, former russia ambassador as well. jonathan, this in some ways is what's next here in libya, turned into a political football last week. there's clearly foreign policy implications in how we manage ourselves in this tumultuous time going on here. >> in these tumultuous times in these countries where in the arab spring they rose up and revolted. clearly it's been determined by the obama administration, very important to get to the bottom of what really happened in benghazi. as we know, three americans were killed including ambassador christopher stevens at the consulate in benghazi. so there are a lot of questions that have to be a
attack in benghazi, on the diplomatic compound there. the white house has come out to affirm that this is a terrorist attack, correct? >> yeah. it absolutely is a terrorist attack. we know the organization, organizations involved. there was no doubt about the fact that the attack on the consulate was planned and organized in advance. it had all the earmarks of a preplanned assault. weapons like mortars used in conjunction with small arms, automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, launched in conjunction with one another, looked exactly like a preplanned attack. >> here's where we need to separate, though -- we talk about this movie that was made in america, you know, defaming the prophet mohammed. there were spontaneous reactions to that. the libyan situation with the death of the four americans is totally separate although it was compounded because of those things happening at the same time. >> i think the assault on the consulate and what took place in libya were the least of all the riots and conflagration that took place around the muslim world, the least associate
of u.n. ambassador susan rice because of her handling of the u.s. consulate attack in benghazi. u.s. intelligence is saying there is evidence that the attack was initially planned. initially, the administration had maintained they believed the attacks in libya were spontaneous reaction to the offensive video that rocked the middle east and beyond. could the direct sort of politicizing of the benghazi attack snowball into a full-blown october surprise for the president? what do you think? does the changing discourse about what happened in benghazi ultimately cause harm to the president? >> the thing about an october surprise is it usually has to reinforce some fundamental weakness or arguments from taking place with the president. if you think about the bin laden tape at the end of the 2004 campaign with bush and kerry, bush had been running on this fear and strength and all these issues getting the country animated on this. by the time the surprise happened, it reinforced what the people already believed. the thing that the president and this is why the bin laden assassination sor
." the more we're finding out about benghazi, the more it looks like a gross security failure. and you know, something the romney campaign told me, this is the biggest mistake we made on libya. if you give the media a chance to talk about politics or policy, they'll talk about politics every time. and we get out in front of it, so all everybody talked about those first few days was the politics of it. but the policy looks, willie, more and more like a gross security failure. you've got so many warnings coming in and so many warnings that were ignored. now the administration, the lead of "the new york times" saying that it may have been an al qaeda hit. but "the times" said there's no evidence on that. mitt romney, again, that's another -- it's a political blunder. and they've made too many of them. >> andrea, we had secretary of state hillary clinton herself yesterday saying we now believe there is an al qaeda link to the attack on the consulate in libya. >> in moments we were told by state department officials she didn't mean to say that, that that wasn't what she was saying. she was on a
about first of all what happened. the libya attacks in benghazi. there are suggestions that these were well-coordinated attacks as opposed that which first was reported that it was just a mob attack. what's the intel on that? >> it is -- it was hastily planned but it was planned, nonetheless. all the evidence points to that. small arms, automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, wielded by soldiers who were properly trained in what looked like a tactical attack. so it was planned. i think the consulate was a target of opportunity. there's no doubt about it. >> so was it well defended? >> well, it wasn't defended at all. which is -- and the state department has a great deal to answer for. there's no reason why, in a place like libya, that hasn't finished with a violent revolution, where a consulate that's relatively isolated should not be -- should not be defended at all. no, that's -- there's going to be an investigation. there's going to be a lot of finger pointing. but the state department has a lot to answer for in that regard. >> well, indeed, there's also a response that has
the attack in benghazi. was it sparked by the protests or was it preplanned? >> the point is you can make assumptions. we do not yet have indication that it was preplanned or premeditated. >> and yet on the same day at a senate hearing, a member of the obama administration, the director of the national counterterrorism center gave the most detailed picture of this we've heard yet. seems to contradict what jay carney said. >> they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy. what we don't have at this point is specific intelligence that there was a significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack. >> senators including susan collins were not satisfied with that answer and that version of events. >> i have come to the opposite conclusion and agree with the president of libya that this was a premeditated, planned attack. i just don't think that people come to protest equipped with heavy weapons. >> what we may be seeing is an attempt between opportunistic aspirational attack that maybe that's what intelligence officials believed, al qaeda in north africa was t
what happened in benghazi, libya was a terrorist attack and pledged to bring those who murdered ambassador chris stevens and the three others to justice. the secretary of state saying what happened in libya was a terrorist attack and will not rest until we've tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four americans. we'll have much more on the secretary of state as well as republicans who are not satisfied with the investigation thus far from the administration and from the state department. at least 15 people are dead in pakistan as a new wave of protests over the anti-islam film "innocence of muslim" turned violent. thousands of muslims protested in at least half a dozen countries. nbc is live in kabul, afghanistan. many thought we would see protests over the french cartoon released, but these are still again over this movie or film made in the united states. >> reporter: hi there, tamron. the protests were actually about both. the majority was pointed at that film. not enough information has gone out to many countries about those cartoons published in fr
Search Results 0 to 7 of about 8